RANGE NEWS

WOOMERA CELEBRATION AND REUNION

Ex-Woomerites please note that April 2007 will mark Woomera's 60th anniversary. The Woomera community is currently planning a celebration and reunion over the Easter weekend of April 6 to 8. Renaissance Tours in conjunction with Sydney's Powerhouse Museum is running a trip ex-Adelaide to Woomera over Easter (contact them on 1300 727 095 for availability of spaces).

I will be there over the long weekend, so perhaps I will have a chance to run into some of  you who have posted on this web site over the years. I will be with the Renaissance Tour group staying at the ELDO Hotel. My contact number will be 0405 321 282.

Rather than repeat the list of activities and accommodation options available, please visit the web site of BAE Systems Australia at: Community Events
Further information may be obtained from the Woomera Community Centre on (08) 8674 3226



LAUNCHES INTO ORBIT Woomera could be witnessing test launches into Earth orbit by 2008 and launches to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2009. This follows the announcement in August 2006, that the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had awarded major contracts to two US-based companies as part of its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. NASA is looking at alternatives for servicing the ISS as the Space Shuttle fleet is to be retired in 2010.

Rocketplane Kistler is to receive US$207 million and is now looking at the first launch of its K-1 vehicle from Woomera in late 2008. The K-1 should be capable of providing services to the International Space Station (ISS) as early as 2009. It is possible that astronauts could eventually be launched from Woomera.

About A$100 million is expected to be spent on the Woomera launch site with completion planned for late 2007.

This news follows years of uncertainty surrounding possible Kistler launches from Woomera.  Finance had been a stumbling block for the Kistler project during recent years. Kistler K-1 launch vehicleKistler Aerospace Corporation, as it was called until early 2006, intended developing one of the world’s first fully reusable launch vehicles, the Kistler K-1, and Woomera had been chosen to be the first site for both the test launches and the first commercial launches.

Kistler's intention was for payloads launched from Woomera to be sent to the International Space Station.

The plan called for the vehicle to be launched from Woomera and carry its payload into orbit, after which the upper stage of the vehicle would return to Earth near the launch site. The second stage would return to Woomera about 24 hours later.

Kistler combined with Rocketplane in February 2006 to become the Kistler Rocketplane Corporation.

Links:                 Kistler Aerospace

 
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Copyright © 1999-2007  Mark T. Rigby
(Updated: 13 February 2007)